Full time Offered Salary : $5,000.00 - $7,000.00 / Monthly

Science Operations System Engineer

  • Spain, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain, 64293 View on Map
  • @ESA posted 2 months ago
  • Views 128
  • Posted Date : 22/03/2024
  • Last Date : 02/04/2024
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Job Description

Vacancy in the Directorate of Science.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.

This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESAC, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain


The European Space Agency maintains a world-leading Science Programme with missions in heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics and fundamental physics. Its mission is to ‘Empower Europe to lead space science’.

The Science and Operations Department (SCI-S) within ESA’s Directorate of Science hosts the scientists and engineers that oversee the space missions from study to end of operations. It develops the science operation systems for the missions and operates the missions in space, as well as archiving and curating their data during operations and beyond. Its main objective is to maximise the scientific output of the missions for the benefit of humankind.

You will be assigned as Science Operations System Engineer with a focus on identifying and coordinating on-going and novel engineering activities and systems to the benefit of several missions within the Department. You will report to the Head of the Science Operations Development Division (SCI-SD), working in a collaborative environment alongside the teams developing and operating science operations systems for all ESA science missions.



You will be responsible for contributing to the science operations system activities of the Department, with the goal of identifying and coordinating potential multi-mission engineering activities and systems, seeking commonalities and striving for increased efficiency in the various science operations domains.

The Science Operations Centres for various ESA science missions are based at ESAC in Madrid, Spain and are responsible for science planning, data processing and archiving activities. You will work in close collaboration with the systems engineers from the various Science Operations Centres, as well as with other stakeholders such as the missions’ Science Operations Teams and Project Scientists, the Mission Operations Centre at ESOC and, potentially, external partners delivering and maintaining components of the Science Ground Segments of missions.


Your tasks and responsibilities will include:


  • providing expert technical support and consultancy to the missions’ Science Operations Centres and general studies throughout all project phases;
  • identifying critical systems engineering problems affecting missions and assisting in their resolution;
  • continuously seeking new technologies to improve the current solutions in science operations and other Departmental activities, anticipating obsolescence, and identifying the future needs of the missions;
  • incentivising, leading and managing R&D for such technical solutions, making use of ESA’s Discovery, Preparation and Technology Development (DPTD), General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) and Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP), for example;
  • fostering new application areas for multidisciplinary activities, placing emphasis on innovative concepts, cutting-edge technologies and system architectures;
  • performing software engineering technology watch with a view to potential applications within the Department;
  • participating in reviews for other projects within the Directorate of Science as appropriate;
  • contributing to the dissemination of the results of the activities performed and the transfer of knowledge across the Department.

Technical competencies

  • Experience in systems engineering, from requirements engineering to design and development, and then verification and validation, preferably, for science operations
  • Experience in development, operations and maintenance of ground infrastructure and/or software systems, preferably, for science operations
  • Experience in dealing with industrial contracts, in particular those related to R&D

Behavioural competencies

  • Result Orientation
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Fostering Cooperation
  • Relationship Management
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Forward Thinking



A master’s degree in engineering, software engineering, computational or space science or space applications is required for the post.


Additional requirements

You should, in addition, have:


  • experience in designing scalable and distributed systems, preferably, for science operations;
  • experience in selecting and managing external support contracts;
  • experience in acquiring third-party funding for R&D projects
  • strong results orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions both orally and in writing;
  • the ability to manage challenging situations proactively and constructively and to be customer focused.


  • International experience, i.e. outside your home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to ESA activities is an asset.


Other information


For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

For further information please visit: Professionals, What we offer and FAQ

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.

At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email contact.human.resources@esa.int.

Don’t forget to mention SEAC-Careers when applying.

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